Opponents of Minnesota’s proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment gave away their secret for estimating the cost of elections in a Photo ID environment:

Ritchie has largely relied on a 2011 estimate state Minnesota Management and Budget officials prepared for a voter ID bill that Gov. Dayton later vetoed. It showed roughly $32 million in start up costs for the state, with another $24 million for counties.

Ritchie’s flaw is that S.F. 509 is nothing like the proposed constitutional amendment. S.F. 509 is almost 2,000 lines long. H.F. 2738 is 39 lines long.

Based on H.F. 2738’s language, it’s impossible for Ritchie to know what the cost is. Ritchie’s ‘statistics’ (I use that term exceptionally loosely) are, at best, wild estimates.

In testimony to the House Government Finance Committee, Ritchie admitted that there are probably less than 100,000 people who would be eligible to vote who don’t have state-issued photographic identification. If that’s accurate, then the cost of providing free photographic identification would be less than $2,000,000 initially.

Educating citizens of the requirements of the new constitutional amendment wouldn’t cost the millions of dollars opponents of Photo ID claim it would. Most of the education could be done by civic groups for little or nothing.

The cost to counties allegation is fiction. The only potential cost to a county would be from DFL activists filing lawsuits claiming a voter was disenfranchised because of the Photo ID requirement. That type of lawsuit would likely get tossed because the litigants would have to prove that they couldn’t obtain photographic identification.

Ritchie and other opponents of the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment don’t have many options left in defeating it. That’s why they’re resorting to scare tactics, dishonest statistics and threats of frivolous lawsuits.

Their options are pretty pathetic at this point.

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6 Responses to “Photo ID opponents tout flawed cost report”

  • Eric F. Heins says:

    The question of ‘implementation cost’ is based on a flawed premise. Namely, “The State should not spend much to guarantee the integrity of our elections”.

    Yeah, its only a core function of government. We don’t pay any attention to THOSE antiquated things anymore.

  • eric z says:

    The question is not cost. The question is whether it should or should not be done, and a bigger question long-term, will bastardizing the Minnesota Constitution prove itself to be the bad idea it appears to be.

  • Gary Gross says:

    The question isn’t whether it should be done. The question is whether Gov. Dayton, who vetoed the bill, & the DFL legislators who voted against the legislation should be held accountable for not listening to their constituents. With 60% of Democrats, 76% of independents & 92% of Republicans supporting Photo ID, the question, it seems, is why this DFL governor & these DFL legislators ignored the will of the people.

  • walter hanson says:

    Eric Z:

    It doesn’t bastardiz Minnesota’s constitution to put this amendment since a bastardizing version was by constitutional to put in future spending decisions and a tax into the constitution.

    Besides Ritchie and judges don’t want to obey the constitution right now since they won’t enforce the current election laws.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • lucy says:

    the first guy to respond on here is a total idiot. I know him and he is dumber than a box of rocks so just ignore him like everyone else does.

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